A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE WEEQUAHIC PARK ASSOCIATION
Marcea Decker and Rehanna Azimi worked together with a community organization, the Weequahic Park Association (WPA), in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey for their Fall 2013 Studio 1 final project.
The WPA has seen great successes in terms of grant-funding and park revitalization despite being a small community-based group. Marcea and Rehanna constructed a colorful and friendly physical game board of the park divided into four zones with a spinner in the center, explicitly for their audience of middle-aged and elderly Newark residents who attend Weequahic Park Association meetings. To participate, one person flicked the spinner and told a story pertaining to that zone of the park that the spinner lands on in order to better understand their attempts, successes, and failures of cleaning up their park. After a couple failed design attempts and ideas, they found that this particular design attempt was successful – the game was inviting, simple, and was designed to facilitate sharing stories in order to transfer knowledge.
The game-play itself unfolded in a way not intended by the original design, instead of prompting story about a specific zone, it served as an ice-breaker to share any kind of story within the park, which was audio recorded and transcribed for the final design and visualization of their work.